Headlines: Arabian Sea – hijacked M/V Asian Glory uplifts pirates; Somalia – hijacked bulk carrier released by pirates; DHS – Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report; Haiti and Dominican Republic – MARAD advisory to shipping; Alaska – state support oil exploration plan for Chukchi Sea; UK – fire on ferry under control; UK – jail sentence for failure to maintain lifesaving equipment; Hong Kong – Lunar New Year fireworks – 15 February; and USN – sunken WWII sub found in Balabac Strait, Philippines.
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Arabian Sea – hijacked M/V Asian Glory “uplifts” pirates
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the hijacked ro-ro vessel Asian Glory was taken by the pirates from its anchorage off the coast of Somalia to a rendezvous with a hijacked fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea northeast of Socotra. The pirates on the fishing vessel transferred to the Asian Glory, which then headed back to Somalia. The fishing vessel, which was dead in the water, was assisted by a coalition force warship and then proceeded on its voyage. (2/1/10).
Somalia – hijacked bulk carrier released by pirates
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the hijacked bulk carrier Filitsa has been released by pirates after payment of a ransom by the owner. The vessel had been held at the pirate stronghold of Hobyo on the Somali coast since it was hijacked on 11 November 2009. (2/2/10).
DHS – Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report. The purpose of the report is to outline the strategic framework to guide the activities of participants in homeland security toward a common end. The five homeland security missions, which are discussed in detail in the report, consist of: (1) preventing terrorism and enhancing security; (2) securing and managing our borders; (3) enforcing and administering our immigration laws; (4) safeguarding and securing cyberspace; and (5) ensuring resilience to disasters. (2/1/10).
Haiti and Dominican Republic – MARAD Advisory to Shipping
The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an updated Advisory for shipping companies engaged in disaster relief to or from Haiti and the Dominican Republic or engaged in international trading with these countries. Masters are requested to provide a report to the Shipping Coordination Center prior to entering the area. (2/2/10).
Alaska – state supports oil exploration plan for Chukchi Sea
The Office of the Governor of Alaska issued a press release stating that Governor Sean Parnell has directed the Department of Law to ask the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for permission to intervene in the lawsuit by environmental advocacy groups challenging the federal government’s decision to approve an oil exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea. The state previously intervened in a separate case concerning oil exploration in waters of the Beaufort Sea. The Governor said: “We will continue to fight for the right to responsibly develop the Beaufort and Chukchi.” (1/30/10).
UK – fire on ferry under control
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that an engineroom fire on a passenger ferry is under control. The ferry had been in a yard in Falmouth for a refit and was not carrying passengers at the time. Various tugs and lifeboats responded to the distress call, as well as the MIRG fire fighting team, which was airlifted to the vessel, now at anchor off Falmouth. The incident is under investigation. (2/2/10).
UK – jail sentence for failure to maintain lifesaving equipment
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the owner of a small passenger vessel in Falmouth was sentenced to six months in jail for each of two offences to which he pleaded guilty and to costs of £8,500. The owner pleaded guilty to proceeding on voyages without a serviced liferaft and with an out-of-date hydrostatic release. (2/1/10).
Hong Kong – Lunar New Year fireworks – 15 February
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice reminding mariners that the fireworks display commemorating the Lunar New Year will occur in the Central Harbor off Wan Chai on the evening of February 15. That area will be closed to navigation between 1900 and 2100 that day. In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks display will be conducted on February 16. Notice 16/2010 (2/1/10).
USN – sunken WWII sub found in Balabac Strait, Philippines
The US Navy issued a news release announcing that a sunken vessel located in Balabac Strait, the Philippines, is the World War II submarine USS Flier (SS 250). The submarine was on its second war patrol when it stuck a mine and sank on 13 August 1944 while transiting shallow water to enter the South China Sea. Of the crew of 86 sailors, fourteen escaped the sinking, but only eight survived the long swim to shore and were eventually repatriated. (2/1/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my friend Dave McGee of Systems Planning & Analysis. Balabac Strait connects the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea. It lies between Balabac Island and Borneo. The submariners lost in this casualty remain on “eternal patrol”.
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – February 2010